fighting spam and scams on the Internet
"419" Scam – Advance Fee / Fake Lottery Scam
The so-called "419" scam is a type of fraud dominated by criminals from Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Victims of the scam are promised a large amount of money, such as a lottery prize, inheritance, money sitting in some bank account, etc.
Victims never receive this non-existent fortune but are tricked into sending their money to the criminals, who remain anonymous. They hide their real identity and location by using fake names and fake postal addresses as well as communicating via anonymous free email accounts and mobile phones.
Keep in mind that scammers DO NOT use their real names when defrauding people.
The criminals either abuse names of real people or companies or invent names or addresses.
Any real people or companies mentioned below have NO CONNECTION to the scammers!
Read more about such scams here or in our 419 FAQ. Use the Scam-O-Matic to verify suspect emails.
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Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- This email uses a separate reply address that is different from the sender address. Spammers use this to get replies even when the original spam sending accounts have been shut down. Also, sometimes the sender addresses are legitimate looking but fake and only the reply address is actually an email account controlled by the scammers.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "central bank of nigeria" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr Johnson - " <email@example.com>
Date: 18 May 2017 17:36:04 -0700
Subject: Dear Beneficiary,
My name is Mr. Johnson Douglas of Telex/Computer Department of
the African Development Bank, Lagos Nigeria.
I am sending this private email based on the confidentiality of
the transaction. Please, I will like to advise if after going
through my proposal and you do not accept it, kindly keep it to
yourself. As of this moment, I am still in service with the ADB
Nigeria (ADB). And I will not by any means like to lose my job,
because of this transaction.
I have put in over 23 years in this bank but I do not have
anything to show for it. This is just my opportunity to make sure
that I give my children a decent training since my government
which is corrupt has refused to take care of its responsibility.
Honestly I am sick and tired of everything here I need to get
I found out that you almost met all the statutory requirements in
respect of your payment. Please be equally advised that no
security company in Africa can handle your contract
payment/inheritance fund with any bank without the instructions
of the African development bank, Nigeria.
Your problem is that of interest group in the central bank of
Nigeria that is supposed to transfer your fund with the approval
of the ADB. A lot of people is interested in your payment and
that explains why you receive emails and phone calls from
different people everyday. Their whole game plan is to frustrate
you in order for you to abandon the contract payment and then
they will be comfortable and free enough to transfer the contract
funds into their overseas account. Their aim and target is not
the money you are giving them but to frustrate you. Hence, you
have lost trust on whom to believe to be genuine. I can assure
you that this may last for years, yet nothing happens. To sum it
up, I wish to assure you that with my position here in the telex
transfer department, I can punch the computer, and accomplish
this process under five working days. But we have to reach an
agreement. First of all, you have to let me know how much you
will give me at the consummation of this deal.
Finally, you will have to accept to keep this transaction
strictly confidential if you accept my proposal, be rest assure
that this transaction will executed exactly as stated here and
without any problem or obstacle.
Kindly get back to me immediately so that I can start the
transfer of this fund to your account without further delay.
Endeavour to confirm your particulars on your reply.
Mr. Johnson Douglas.